So we have another royal wedding in our midsts, and as an American I find myself in the position as I’m sure many other Americans do: Conflicted whether I should care more or less than I do. The royal family is something of interest of course. I mean, it’s the same family line as those written about in Shakespeare’s plays. You can’t help but feel the aura of historical significance around a new branch forming in that family tree.
But let’s face it. They really aren’t terribly important in this day and age. The prime minister and other officials are more in the spotlight regarding important political news that affects the world. Yet, they are still royalty, and the heavy weight that title holds prevents our interest from floating away entirely.
It is a new era, however, and I can’t help but reflect upon how different this wedding is compared to former ones. It was shocking during the time leading up to the marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles that 1) she was a “commoner” and 2) that she would accompany Prince Charles on vacations prior to being wed (despite the fact they stayed in separate houses at night). Royalty was supposed to be traditional, conservative, and, well, boring. Even during the 80’s.
But we are in the ‘era of apathy’ when it comes to tradition. Out with the old, in with the new-this-week. There was no shock when the news that Prince William and Kate were living together. Why shouldn’t they? It’s what people do before they are married. The traditions that royalty carries are part of a bygone era, and antiquated notions are castigated faster and harsher in our society now more than ever.
As we wait for the wedding to air this week on television, the internet, mobile phones, twitter, facebook, etc.., I can’t help but wonder if it will play out more like a fairy tale, or more like the ‘Wedding Crashers’ movie. Will there be viral videos on YouTube of guests singing and dancing up the aisle, cell phones going off mid-sermon, Facebook notifications reading, “I’ve been princess-ified!”. Most likely, probably not. But I don’t think it will be the stuffy affair it was in the past. This Prince and Princess were raised on grunge music, the Simpsons (higher ratings in Europe than in the US), and Mtv. Granted, they are adults now and have matured into respectable royals. But I think this wedding will be significantly more modern than any royal wedding thus far.
So does that mean I’ll watch the wedding? I’m not quite sure myself yet. Perhaps if I’m home and I happen to be in front of the tv, I will watch it. But then again, this is the ‘era of apathy’. Does it really matter anyway if I tune in live? I know I will be force-fed the event for the next few days on tv and the internet anyway, not to mention clip-shows, and the news…
As they say, ‘history repeats itself’. But I think, with this royal wedding, it’s more appropriate to say it’ll re-run.